COVID-19 is a deadly serious disease. With over 397,000 deaths from COVID and COVID-related illnesses that’s crystal clear.
What’s not clear is why “15 days to slow the spread” has become rolling lockdowns and ongoing quarantines and restrictions that never seem to end.
Most people feeling depressed about all the restrictions and social distancing at least can tell themselves it’s helping save lives.
Well, that depends who you ask. Looking at the COVID case load in Florida the numbers do not appear to show any link between lockdowns and a reduction in coronavirus infections.
Welcome to Florida
COVID has now been around for a year, but it’s not hitting every state the same. Not at all. In fact, Florida and California are both going in opposite directions in terms of how many people are catching the dangerous virus.
Florida, which has relaxed restrictions and gotten rid of lockdowns under Republican Governor Ron DeSantis is seeing about half as many cases as Democrat-ruled California.
Florida has recorded around 1.5 million cases of COVID since the pandemic started; Florida has recorded 3 million. At this point they both have around the same amount of cases per 100,000 people as America gets hit by the current wave, but overall Florida is doing better than its progressive cousin.
California’s hospitals are now overflowing, with doctors unsure how to cope with the case load and the dwindling supplies of oxygen and ICU beds.
There were some experts theorizing that hotter weather spreads COVID more, but if anything Florida is – as a whole – even hotter than California and it has less cases. It’s also skipping the business-crushing lockdowns of California.
So…what exactly is going on?
In Florida we eat inside like humans.
Our COVID response has been better than NY.
And New Yorkers keep moving here to escape their oppressive, dangerous government.
Also, happy anniversary! https://t.co/5tVnRVAk6S
— Matt Gaetz (@mattgaetz) January 17, 2021
Do Lockdowns Work?
It’s worth asking if lockdowns work. California’s progressive Governor Gavin Newsom has put in place some of the harshest lockdowns and restrictions in the country including on businesses and production, so much so that they even pushed Tesla chief Elon Musk to build his new factory in Texas and move out of the state.
Even though he was caught out at a wine bar enjoying his time with donors and friends, Newsom has constantly shut down indoor dining, pubs and even done county-by-county shutdowns to put stricter restrictions on counties with a high COVID count.
Florida told people to stay at home and closed indoor dining at first as well in the spring of 2020, but by last summer DeSantis started opening up. He stopped making you get in trouble if you didn’t wear a mask, let people eat in restaurants, advocated for students to have the option to return to in-person schooling and overall stepped back from the nanny state strategy.
Now California’s doing even worse than Florida. If lockdowns work then why is this happening?
A Closer Look at the Numbers
Florida reopened in-person education in all counties by last October, while California has left it up to local government. Newsom wants schools open by February, but as we’ve all seen, these goalposts are very easy to move as you go.
One aspect that is important to note is that Florida has a higher COVID death rate than California, with average 110 COVID-related deaths per 100,000 compared to California’s 81 per 100,000.
This is likely because people in Florida are – on average – older than people in California, and at this point numbers are starting to go down.
It’s not yet clear exactly what’s going on or why, but our beloved mainstream media could do some good for once by looking into it and finding out just why California’s cases are surging so badly despite its residents following strict lockdown rules.